Kospi inches up for second day in a row

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Kospi inches up for second day in a row

The primary Kospi nudged up for a second consecutive day, backed by foreign investors’ robust buying spree. The Kospi index finished at 2,046.96, adding 0.25 percent on Friday.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics nudged up 0.08 percent to 1,266,000 won ($1,143) while chipmaker and No. 2 by market capitalization SK Hynix lost 1.69 percent to 43,550 won. Leading carmaker Hyundai Motor retreated 1.14 percent to 130,000 won. Fourth-largest share Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) advanced 3.89 percent to 44,100 won and Cheil Industries, Samsung’s de facto holding company, gained 1.75 percent to 174,500 won.

By industry, airline and securities shares gained.

Korea’s top national flag carrier Korean Air Lines soared 6.02 percent to 37,850 won as the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) levels off. The other national flag carrier, Asiana Airlines, added 5 percent to 6,090 won.

Securities companies gained after the government announced it will allow private companies to launch online-only banks. Experts caution, however, that it’s still unclear who will benefit from the new policy. Samsung Securities added 3.27 percent to 56,900 won and Kiwoom Securities went up 3.9 percent to 71,900 won.

The won posted its biggest weekly gain in two months, after the Federal Reserve tempered concerns that its monetary tightening will spur capital outflows by saying the pace will be gradual once it starts. The currency rose 0.3 to close at 1,107 a dollar in Seoul.

The 10-year sovereign bond yield fell eight basis points Friday to 2.44 percent, Korea Exchange prices showed. It rose 8 basis points in the first three days of the week to 2.56 percent on speculation an increase in government spending would lead to more debt issuance.

“Long-term yields reversed gains from earlier in the week on speculation the size of the extra budget will be smaller than expected,” said Park Jong-youn, a Seoul-based fixed-income analyst for NH Investment and Securities. “That means less increase in supply.”

BY KIM HYUN-MIN, BLOOMBERG [kim.hyunmin@joongnang.co.kr]

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